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Nicole Fawcett turns on record breaking display


The US Women’s National Volleyball Team has developed a large pool of talent it can call upon with confidence to compete for a spot on the medal podium in any international tournament. This depth of talent has helped USA climb to the top spot in the FIVB rankings, claim back-to-back Olympic Games silver medals, earn three consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix gold medals and the silver medal at the FIVB World Cup among  victories in other competitions.

The American prowess at the opposite position was on display on February 12 as American Nicole Fawcett scored 55 points to set the world record for individual points scored in a single match while playing for Korea Expressway in the Korean V-League.  Fawcett  does not carry the same international recognition as Destinee Hooker, Tayyiba Haneef-Park and Nancy Metcalf, her American teammates playing the same position who all have Olympic Games experience. But she has been part of the United States High Performance pipeline since 2003 and a member of the US women’s team since 2009.

“Nicole’s Korea Expressway team has asked her to carry a very large part of the offensive load this season, and she responded with a new record,” US women’s coach Karch Kiraly said. “I firmly believe she can use the lessons learned to accelerate her progress, and to heighten her contribution to the US national team’s performance.”

Fawcett’s 55-point performance, which came in a five-set victory over Industrial Bank of Korea, included 53 successful attacks on 85 attempts with only seven errors. Yet, she was unaware of the significance of her performance until after the match.

“This was a really big and important game for us, so I was never thinking about the points I was scoring,” Fawcett said. “The only thing that was going through my mind was making every point count so we could win the match. I was completely unaware of the points that I had until after the game when my interpreter came up to me and told me that I broke a record here for most points in a match.”

Fawcett’s 55-point performance eclipsed the previous scoring record of 54 points held by Dominican Republic's Bethania de la Cruz and Colombia's
Madelaynne Montaño.

When asked if this match was her best performance ever, Fawcett responded that the record is something that she will always remember, but not necessarily for the number of points scored.

“This is a tough question!” Fawcett said. “I can't really say, but this will definitely be a match that I will always remember.  I think learning wise this is the most significant because I was focusing on aspects of my game that I had never previously done before and I feel like that really elevated my game.”

At the time of the record-breaking performance, Fawcett led the Korean Volleyball League with 503 points during the 2012-13 season, out-distancing American Whitney Dosty by 14 points. Fawcett also had converted 50.8 per cent of her attack attempts while averaging 7.5 points per set.

“Nicole is a physical player, which allows her to be a big threat at the net,” said US teammate and 2012 Olympian Christa Harmotto. “She can also generate points from the back row and service line.”

While she has yielded playing time in major international tournaments to FIVB Hero Destinee Hooker the 2012 Olympic Games Best Spiker, and three-time Olympian Tayyiba Haneef-Park, Fawcett has made the most of her opportunities when wearing the USA red, white and blue or while playing in the club season away from home.

“The biggest thing that I have learned through my short amount of years playing is that it is very difficult to be experienced without playing to get experience,” Fawcett said. “A lot of the situations that I have been placed in, in Korea, has given me great training, albeit very difficult at times. But those are the moments that I've learned that the harder something is, if I can do my best to learn from it, I come out of it a better player and stronger person.  What we do can be very challenging for a lot of reasons, but that's what makes it so rewarding when we have the success.”

During her first season with Team USA in 2009, Fawcett played in 74 sets and averaged 2.12 points per set during the FIVB World Grand Prix, the Final Four Intercontinental Cup and the NORCECA Continental Championship. She scored 11 points in her first three matches at the FIVB World Grand Prix. But in 2010, her playing time at the opposite position became limited with the emergence of Destinee Hooker. When given a chance to compete in 2011, Fawcett excelled with 15 points against Germany and 14 points versus China during the Montreux VolleyMasters. With the US roster decided for the Olympics, Fawcett helped lead USA to the gold medal at the 2012 Pan American Cup that included 15 points off the bench against Cuba in pool play and nine points against Brazil in a reserve role as the Americans rallied to defeat the 2012 Olympic Games champion for the gold medal.

With a Team USA roster stacked with talented players at her opposite position, Fawcett has used her time overseas to help hone and improve her skills.

She has competed in five different professional leagues since debuting with Puerto Rico’s Gigantes de Carolina in 2009 after graduating from college. Her travels have taken her to Russia’s Dinamo Yantar, Brazil’s Usiminas/Minas, Puerto Rico’s Llaneras de Toa Baja, China’s Guangdong Evergrande under the mentorship of past US Women’s coach Lang Ping, and now for Korea Expressway.

Fawcett gained early stardom on the international scene as a member of the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team, which competed in the 2003 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ Youth World Championship in Poland. The squad narrowly missed its first medal in the event, finishing in fourth place. The following year, she helped Team USA secure the gold medal at the 2004 NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship. Fawcett was a member of the US squad that competed in the 2005 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Junior World Championship in Turkey.

And as one of the strongest opposites in the world now with a world record, Fawcett is ready to heighten her contributions to Team USA.






55 pts

Nicole Fawcett


2013 Korean League


54 pts

Bethania de la Cruz


2012 Japanese League


54 pts

Madelaynne Montaño


2012 Korean League


53 pts

Yumilka Ruiz


2005 Russian League


53 pts

Barbara Jelic-Ruzic


1999 European  Championships


51 pts

Bethania de la Cruz


2012 Japanese League


49 pts

Nancy Metcalf


2002 Puerto Rican League


48 pts

Georgina Pinedo


2012 Korean League


48 pts

Polina Rahimova


2011 Challenge Cup


47 pts

Natalya Mammadova


2006 Champions League




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